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A stand-out moment for him as an actor came in January 2011 when his alter-ego spotted his alcoholic best friend, Peter Barlow indulging in a pint, egged on by Nick Tilsley; the scenes that followed gave Keith the opportunity to show off his acting in a way that he hadn’t been able to before, knowing that Ciaran was a character that had often been used in lighter situations. The Boyzone Tour fast approaching for Keith meant that it was time for Ciaran to leave the cobbles once more, and with Kym Marsh going on maternity leave around the same time; it allowed the Corrie team to send the fictional couple off together on a cruise around the Mediterranean; him working as a chef and her as a singer (or as it turned out - a waitress). With a planned return for them both in September 2011.


The tour took place through February and March 2011 and Keith spoke in interviews beforehand about getting the balance right when it came to including Stephen in the show. They used the middle section to talk about him, telling humorous stories and sharing fond memories. Another humorous moment came each night when Keith attempted to reach Stephen’s famous high notes on his very own rendition of ‘Ave Maria’ (two words of it anyway!) in the link before ‘No Matter What.’ Some nights he even managed it! That of course wasn’t his only contribution in the singing department, doing lead vocals on both verses of ‘Love is a Hurricane,’ the second verse of ‘Life is a Rollercoaster’ and part of ‘When the Going Gets Tough.’


Keith spent most of his time after the tour in training and taking part in triathlons as preparation for the half Ironman challenge which took place in Galway in September. His aim in doing so was to raise as much money possible for the ‘Irish Autism Action.’ He completed the 750m Swim, 90km cycle and 21km run in the impressive time of 5 hours, 40 minutes.


Keith was very much the proud father when in May; he announced his son, Jay had landed a part in Hollyoaks as bad boy Brendan Brady’s son, Declan. He spent some of the time on set with Jay, helping him settle into his first acting job.


In September 2011, Keith was back filming on ‘Coronation Street;’ the stint ended up shorter than originally planned due to family commitments, meaning he was only on screen for a month. Back alongside Kym Marsh as Michelle Connor – their scenes aired in November - the couple arrived home with wedding plans but that soon changed when they discovered they both wanted different things from life & Ciaran managed to gamble away the wedding fund! Kym staying on the street and Keith leaving, meant a tearful goodbye for their characters who were still very much in love, when Ciaran left in the back of a black cab for another cruise ship.


Prior to ‘Corrie,’ Keith spent time in Guadeloupe filming BBC drama, ‘Death in Paradise.’ The single episode he appeared in went out on 6th December 2011; he played Eddie, a bass player in a band who had reunited after a 10-year split. The role saw him have to wear rather fetching make-up!


His next project saw him take to the stage in Ireland, in Druid’s big production – John B Keane’s ‘Big Maggie.’ The character he played was the lusty commercial traveller, Teddy Heelin and the play visited several theatres around the country from November 2011 – February 2012.




Written & Researched by Leonie Stevens

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